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The Week in Worst: Airballs for everybody

It's another fantastic week in the NBA. And still no one can make a dang basket.

walk it off
walk it off

Welcome back to the Week in Worst, a feature that appears every seven days to remind you that it's okay to laugh at athletes sometimes. And also to remind you that you should probably get a faster Internet connection if you're just going to be looking at animated GIFs at work all day.

This week, there were a lot of airballs in the NBA. Like, really just a whole bunch. To the point where there were some genuinely terrible airballs that didn't even make the cut. Like an airball from Derek Fisher. Or should I say DAIRek FishAIR? Yes, I think I should say that. On account of the airball. Take our word for it, it was really bad.

But these plays were worse! Oh, so bad. It was one of those weeks where there were so many lousy on-court plays that we don't even have room for off-court antics. Like, say, a terrible fan being terrible. Or LeBron James looking like an absolute fool in a dumb viral meme that should probably die already. Or the whitest Milwaukee Bucks fans in history (lol redundant).

Nope, no time for any of that. On to the column! Here are the worst plays in the NBA for the week of Feb. 25 - March 3.

Worst Pass

Player: Jan Vesely

Date: March 3


Welcome back, Jan Vesely! Quick pointer, Jan: That's not how to pass a basketball. You've been out for a while, so you may not remember, but you're not trying to get the ball BETWEEN your teammates. Hope this helps. Sweet cricket bowl, though. Lotta English on that one.

Of all the people involved in this GIF, though, I feel the worst for A.J. Price. Look at that effort! Diving for that ball like he's in a commercial for Crocodile Mile. Check out the sad little swimming stroke he uses as he pathetically slides out of bounds. There's probably some sort of metaphor in there for the 2012-13 Washington Wizards season. If you think of one, let us know.

Worst Rebound

Players: Anthony Tolliver and Johan Petro

Date: March 3


(Click to animate)

Dwight Howard bricks a free throw. Two different Hawks have a chance to come up with the practically uncontested rebound. Instead, neither of them do. It's a stark, sad little tragedy. Sort of like a Cormac McCarthy novel, but no one's getting stabbed in the eyeball or anything.

Worst Block

Player: JaVale McGee

Date: Feb. 27


JaVale McGee, Week in Worst Hall of Famer. JaVale gets bonus points this week for not actually goaltending, but loses the points for this pinpoint volleyball spike directly into the face of Corey Brewer. Or perhaps he gains terrible-points? I'm not sure how points work. But I know that this play was worth precisely zero basketball points.

I could absolutely watch this all day. KER-WHAP! JaVale looking shocked at his actions and Brewer looking completely nonplussed that a dang basketball just got whalloped into his headface. The moment the ball hits Brewer's face? That's the summation of me every time I've tried to play basketball. Just terrible.

Worst Free Throw

Player: Lamar Odom

Date: Feb. 28


Hey, this marks the first appearance this week of our old friend the airball! It shan't be the last. Check out Odom's follow-through: every muscle in his body frozen in agony as he stares, transfixed, at the unfortunate arc of his toss. Lob City, indeed!

Maybe his blood sugar was just low. Fun fact: Lamar Odom requires his blood sugar to be at 95% "sugar" or above just to be able to walk and breathe.

Worst Layup Attempt

Player: Dwight Howard

Date: Feb. 28


I find it fitting that the most immature (or at least most juvenile) player in the NBA is wearing a compression undershirt for his shoulder injury, as now he just straight-up looks like an 18-year-old college kid. Especially on plays like this.

Don't sleep on Nikola Pekovic and his "nuh-uh I ain't touch him NOT IT" sell of Dwight just flubbing everything.

This is a good time to remind everyone that basketball players are enormous giants and that anything they do off the basketball court looks insanely awkward, because the world just isn't built for them. If you observed the average seven-foot-tall dude like, making a sandwich or something, it looks like a bear trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. Sometimes that awkwardness translates to the court, like in the above image. Most of us can't fathom being that size. Imagine if you were somehow instantly transported into Dwight's body. You wouldn't be able to do a damn thing. You'd be lucky to look like him on this attempted layup, but you'd also be screaming HOW DOES MY BODY WORK OH GOD the entire time.

What I'm saying is that Dwight Howard is a hero. How dare you laugh at him.

Worst Airball

Player: Dorell Wright

Date: Feb. 28


lol where is that even going

Worst Awareness

Player: Danilo Gallinari

Date: March 1


(Click to animate)

To be fair, Kenneth Faried deserves some of this blame for his lackadaisical-ass inbound pass, but COME ON, Danilo. What did you THINK was gonna happen? WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS HITTING YOUR FOOT? You feel something hit your foot, you look over and SEE a basketball rolling slowly away from you. DO SOME ON-THE-FLY PROBLEM-SOLVING.

Instead, Danilo opts for the "huh? wuzzat? zat even legal? c'mon ref what" approach. That approach don't work, bro. Stop being terrible at things. Also of note: three Nuggets are involved here. Two of them see the ball hit Danilo's foot. Three of them see the ball roll away. All of them do nothing.

Worst Punch in the Jibblies

Player: Serge Ibaka

Date: March 3


Lots of people hate Blake Griffin. They hate his floppery, or they hate his attitude, or his KIA commercials, or whatever. Lots of people wish for bad things to happen to Blake Griffin. Probably none of those people were hoping for him to get straight-up karate-chopped in the ding-dong. But that's the tactic Serge Ibaka went for. Just an overhand, Hong Kong Phooey-style chop directly to the gonads. A punch to the privates. A blow to below. A fistable to the unmentionables. A whack to the sack.

I could go on like this.

Is this the most justified flopping in NBA history? A poll of Blake Griffin's genitals responded 100% in the affirmative.

Just the Worst

Player: Dorell Wright

Date: March 3


It was a bad week for Dorell Wright. A bad, bad, bad week. He got a knot in his shoelaces. He spilled his soda all over his new faux-vintage Hey, Arnold! shirt he JUST BOUGHT at Hot Topic. He dropped his ham and turkey sandwich and it came apart in midair and landed entirely meat-down. For some reason his DVR recorded Say Yes to the Dress instead of Justified. Oh and also he kept missing all these threes.

Maybe he should just stop trying to shoot threes.

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Paul Flannery: Stats, storytelling and Sloan

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